Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The World of Flesh or Desire for Christ 3

Now I don’t think being rich and having wealth is the problem, but that there is such a determination in many "Christian" circles for obtaining a great deal of wealth and riches, whether it’s the newest and best car, jet ski, house, or television set. Do we not read our Bibles? Well, I must not enough because It seems that every year I must relearn these things. It gives many warnings and much wisdom on the follies in life, a big one being the pursuit of riches. "Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens." Proverbs 23:4-5. "There are two things, Lord, I want you to do for me before I die: Make me absolutely honest and don’t let me be too poor or too rich. Give me just what I need. If I have too much to eat, I might forget about you; If I don’t have enough, I might steal and disgrace your name." Proverbs 30:7-9. (I was going to write down all the verses about wealth and riches found in the Bible, but there are so many, and all of them good for instruction, that you(any one out there who had the patience to read this far) should really look for yourselves. Try using a concordance). Another important warning to the rich is in James 5:1-5. I hope I don’t misunderstand the meaning, I think it is a warning out of love. "You rich people should cry and weep! Terrible things are going to happen to you. Your treasures have already rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your money has rusted, and the rust will be an evidence against you, as it burns your body like fire. Yet you keep on storing up wealth in these last days. You refused to pay the people who worked in your fields, and now their unpaid wages are shouting out against you. The lord All-powerful has surely heard the cries of the workers who harvested your crops. While here on earth, you have thought only of filling your own stomachs and having a good time. But now you are like fat cattle on their way to be butchered." James 5:1-5. This must be written to people consumed by riches, but with so many warnings, why then is there so much drive for material gain in the Church? Remember what Jesus said, "If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me. Luke 9:23." I must remember that our Lord is returning, and that this world is not going to last, but my actions done, here and now, in hate or love, will determine my(and possibly others) everlasting future.

Note: To be continued

5 comments:

Yogger said...
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Yogger said...

John... I agree that materialism is a trend in Christian circles. What is more terrifying is the "invisible" materialism that is creeping into Christian Bookstores... some (not ALL) authors are building mini-empires with their ideas. (We need to be careful not to judge... so I won't mention names)... just take a look next time you go into one. How is marketing playing a role? Look at the pictures of ppl on books... is our world's buisness mindset shining through or what?

Not only is materialism creeping in, BUT also an agreement with the world's definition of "acceptable" and "desirable"...

What do you think?

gospeloflove said...

Good points, The definition of many words have changed in the last few years. But, I think it is a matter of focus for believers. What are we, as Christ's bride, focussed on? Him, or the worldly things that surround us. I don't mean to say that we should free ourselves of society and build Christian communities in exile. I just mean that we should let Him free us from darkness and live as beacons of light displaying His glory, and while surrounded by darkness not conforming to it. But then we would be different and require faith. We might have to trust in Him for our daily bread and have to rely on the riches of heaven to feed and clothe the church instead of the worlds wealth. We may appear foolish, weak, and poor. Oh, the horror. But in the end my mocking won’t change anything anyway. It’s a good thing He will and does though with those who are faithful and willing. "He’s got the whole world in His hands. He got the whole wide world in His Hands."

Yogger said...

The whole concept of being beacons of light in the world is interesting... in the end it comes down to being the Church... which we all have so many definitions of... how do we coexist? Ask 10 different people you may get 10 different answers. What does it really mean to be the Bride? We develop all these nifty philosophies and all claim that ours is the correct one. How do we follow Christ in a world where everyone thinks they have the right way of following the Way?

God's Grace said...

Ahhh Materialism... my arch nemisis!! Sometimes I get so frustrated with the world we live in. AND how it can suck me in... I look at a stores flyer and see something that I didn't realize until that moment I can't live without. I fight against it.. I hate shopping, but there is always something. Christian Bookstores hmm I definately have a love hate relationship with them. The big ones just have so much superfluous STUFF! It get's me irritated just walking into them. I'm all for putting out good quality literature, and for all sorts of things, and paying a fair price. But do I really need the matching bookmark, bumper sticker, mug, bracelet, wall and desk calendars, and cd?? where are the shelves with information for various charities and opportunities to give to them while there. wouldn't that be a much better use of my money and the opportunity to live out my faith while there? Rater than just gleaning info on how I SHOULD be living. Sometimes I despise wealth. I so much don't want to become one of those people that always "needs" the next best thing. But I also know that it's stupid not to appreciate what God's given and enjoy the opportunities that come up to have some nice things. I just have to make sure that those nice things don't become a focus etc... but my stupid sinful covetousness gets in the way sometimes. grrr, so frustrating.